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The door slammed in my face

Slammed on January 30, 2022.

“Terwilligus Saltibalz?” I enquavered? “Is that your name?”

“No!” He shot back. The door slammed in my face again. I just took it as an invitation to keep knocking.


Returning home half an hour later with the impression of a doorknob firmly impressed upon my forehead, I muddled over to my Hopeless Slack-Ass® reclining easy chair and collapsed into its waiting upholstery, not unlike a rubber chicken who found herself outclucked by a rooster mannequin. When sufficiently miffed, that ol’ Gnaddeus Underdong McDoggerel Kleinbutt could sure swing a doorknob with startling accuracy! I sat and I contemplated my predicament. (I later realized my foolishness. I should have been contemplating a different predicament: What to do about the new breed of gnomes setting fire to my kitchen wainscoting. But instead I devoted today’s contemplations to discovering Gnaddeus’ true name.) A light suddenly went off in my head. I snapped my fingers. The light didn’t go out, so I realized then that it was real.

I had… a plan. Out the door I flew.

And, unhindered still, the Fröbelian Firestarting Gnomes continued starting their tiny, tiny fires all over my kitchen.


I knocked. The door opened. “Is it Tyler? Or is it Taylor? Is it Fillmore? Or is it Hayes?” I hemidemisemiquavered. “Is it William Henry Harrison? Will you die in thirty days?”

The door slammed in my face.

I knocked again. The door opened. “Is it Hiedler? Or Hüttler? Is it Frankenberger? Or maybe even Schickelgruber? No. Is it… Hüppedüppehitlerditler? Hoop! Doop! Hitler! Ditler!”

The door slammed in my face.

I raised my pudgy fist to knock again but then hesitated. My hand hung pudgily in the air until it became too heavy and I let it fall. My intricate plan—continue knocking on Gnaddeus’ door, wait until he flung the door open, dodge any flying doorknobs, and then wildly hurl any words that popped into my head at him—did not seem to be bearing any fruit—nor vegetables. (Even more importantly, it wasn’t bearing any avocados, but that is another story best left for another day.) I decided on a new course of action. I again raised my fist to the door and began to knock. This time I would wait until he flung the door open, dodge any flying doorknobs, and then wildly hurl any words that popped into my head at him. It was the perfect plan—so perfect in fact that the only improvement it still needed was for me to make another six or seven attempts in quick succession.

The door never opened. I perfected my plan—a third time, then a fourth, then a fifth. Finally my exasperated fist had enough of me: It decided to take matters into its own hands and began punching me right in the face, until I came up with a new plan. And so I did. This new plan was even more perfect: I would continue knocking on Gnaddeus’ door, wait until he flung the door open, dodge any flying doorknobs, and then wildly hurl any—


Finally regaining consciousness half an hour later, more or less, still with the impression of a doorknob firmly impressed upon my forehead, such impression having been impressed thereupon by a very angry Mr. Kleinbutt, but now alongside it a new dent in the distinct shape of a doofus-shaped man’s balloon-shaped knuckles—I realized all my plans faced ruination, one after another after another after a sorry, sorry ’nother. Other than concluding the previous sentence before fainting from hypercapnia, there was only one thing to be done now: With my alien hands in open revolt, I began knocking on Gnaddeus’ door with my forehead, nose, chin, eyelashes, hips, knees, nipples, and maximal gluteus.

The door never opened.


The day ended—another began. Defeated, abandoned by my own fists, I sat languidly in my reclinerator, stewing in my depressed juices. A glass of pepperoni juice was in one hand and a half-gnawed stick of pepperoni was in the other. I never learned Gnaddeus’ true name. He never opened the door. After I broke my nose off using it as a door knocker, I began to surmise—why did Gnaddeus hate me so? Why did he ignore me so? When I finally broke my nipples off, my surmising came to an end: I surmised, at long last, that the man had fled via his back door—slithered blithely out the back way, so blithely in fact that I hadn’t noticed!

But I would never know the truth. Before I had been able to break the door off its hinges and perform a thorough search of his abode, I had broken my maximal gluteus off! With no more pointy or lumpy body parts to use as battering rams, I was forced to concede defeat. (I was also arrested by the neighborhood guardsquirrels for disorderly crazy-conduct, but that was beside the point.) The point was worn down to a nub, in fact, and nearly lost. In fact, the whole point of this week’s stupefying blog entry seems to have been lost somewhere. I shook my head in mild frustration, not unlike a man who had a gnat land atop his forehead or atip his nose for the umpteenth time. Except there was no gnat. And my forehead was dented beyond repair and my nose was broken clean off. I was just miffed. Annoyed. Aggravated. Murplized. I took another sip of my thick, oily pepperoni juice, and gnawed off another two inches from the pepperoni stick I clasped in my other pudgy, fistless hand.

The Fröbelian Firestarting Gnomes had reduced my kitchen and all its wainscoting to ashes and blackened rubble. My avocado bowl had been replaced with a bowl of bowels. My bowler hat and bolo tie hung on the wall limply, waiting for me to decide again one day to wear them. (Or was it my bolo hat and a bowler tie?) A bowling ball was rolling around in tight circles and strict parallelograms on the melted, scorched linoleum. I wasn’t sure how it did that seemingly of its own volition—there were no gnomes rolling it around (nor any giant dung beetles doing it either). The Fröbelian Firestarting Gnomes were now rappelling up the door jambs intent on setting the ceiling ablaze next. They nattered and whirred, wheedled and droned. I groaned and frurbled myself. If only I had my fists instead of these fistless stumps, I could show them a thing or two.

Disgusted with it all, I threw my dog chew-toy at the television. It clicked on, momentarily blinding and deafening me with static. After picking my lumpy and quivering self up off the floor, I picked up the chew-toy and threw it at the TV again to change the channel. After six or seven tries, this actually worked. The channel changed.

The news was on, and the newsman on the news was going on and on about the new things that made up the news. All in all, it was another wonderful 2022 day. Global warming was spitefully dumping six feet of snow on the northeast while simultaneously incinerating all the forests and boiling all the salmon. COVID-19 had mutated horrifically and now spiky virions the size of Godzilla were rolling down the streets of New York City, squashing or skewering everyone in their path. Cats, dogs, and even hamsters were living together in open defiance of all that is holy and just. And pantsless peasants all over the world were revolting, rebelling, rioting, and insurrecting. A coup d’état in Burkina Faso made me ask if the tiny nation is still encased in pie. I could be blamed for that disastrous pie-eating contest, most would claim. But could I be blamed for last week’s coup? I was unsure—and I was unsure how I could resolve this quandary.

I needed a plan. None was forthcoming: My mind, clouded and swimming in greasy pepperoni juice, was all but shot to hecklegroober. Off in the distance, a gnome whirred—another fire blazed into being in my kitchen. But then, a light suddenly went off in my head. I snapped my fingers. The light didn’t go out, so I realized then that it was real.

I had… a plan. Perhaps my new neighbor would know! Out the door I flew.